Skip to main content

MobileMe vs. iCloud: Overhaul or upgrade?

comparisonApple introduced iCloud with much fanfare yesterday, as the cloud computing solution has been its much-anticipated answer to MobileMe’s faults as well as a remote iTunes feature. The general impression seems to be that we were expecting more, a game-changer, and instead what we’re seeing is a stepping stone toward a more efficient and flaw-free system. While Apple has yet to release full details on the new service, it’s the unknowns that are causing skeptics to wonder how different iCloud and the soon-defunct MobileMe really are.


MobileMe: $99 a year (20 GB, 200 GB of monthly data transfer) or $149 a year for a Family Pack (five users; one individual account of 20 GB and five supplementary with 5GB)

iCloud: 5GB for Free (music, apps, books, and Photo Streams don’t count toward your free storage); there is a $25 annual fee to sync music not bought via iTunes

Outside Apple compatibility

MobileMe: Could be used on Windows PCs via iTunes and MobileMe Control Panel for Windows.

iCloud: Will work with a PC with Windows Vista or Windows 7 and iTunes 10.3. From what we’ve heard thus far, iCloud will not offer storage for Microsoft Office documents or an option for storing and syncing outside files. Anything you’ve got stored in Flickr, Dropbox, Picasa, CloudMe, Google Docs, etc – will be staying there unless users personally transfer it over manually. We all know why this is a frustration: Say you’re currently an iPhone, iPad, and Mac user, but at some point you’re tempted by an Android phone. Apple’s trapped your data within its walled garden. A big part of iCloud’s function will be lost on you unless you remain a loyal Apple consumer. Not to say Apple’s the only one guilty of such closed-ecosystem tactics, but it doesn’t make it any fairer to users.

Productivity applications

MobileMe: Address book and calendar, iDisk (a 20GB online storage account), iWeb Publish, MobileMe Mail, MobileMe Calendar Beta

iCloud: Documents, Mail ( email account), Calendar, Contacts, as well as all your previously purchased iOS apps (wirelessly pushed to iCloud)


MobileMe: Users could select iDisk’s public folder to share files. This space could also be password protected to keep content secure. The other option was to select files and using the or the iDisk iPhone app and selecting the Share icon. This would create a unique, password protected link to the file that you could send via the email client.

iCloud: Sharing, most specifically for documents, hasn’t been detailed yet. We do know that as it currently stands, users will not be able to share music via iCloud. It’s also unclear how Apple intends to transfer their files from iDisk to iCloud and it’s entirely possible this will have to be done manually (Apple has said that email, contacts, calendar, and bookmarks will be shifted to iCloud).


MobileMe: The MobileMe Gallery stored photos uploaded at, synced by iPhoto or Aperture, or uploaded from your iOS device. There was also a specific email address for uploading photos and videos, and galleries could be public or private or even password-protected. You could send photos directly from iPhones or iPod touches.

Users had hang-ups with difference versions of Aperture though. In order to use Aperture 2 or later and publish content to MobileMe Galleries, all versions of the software had to be the same. Not doing so could result in duplicated galleries or missing photos.

iCloud: Photo Stream offers a constantly updated collection of your most recent 1,000 photos and new photos are stored for 30 days. Your Mac or PC will automatically grab and store all your photos taken with any iOS device once Photo Stream is activated there.

Editors' Recommendations

Molly McHugh
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Before coming to Digital Trends, Molly worked as a freelance writer, occasional photographer, and general technical lackey…
Apple reveals dates for online-only WWDC 2021, promising ‘unique insights’
apple wwdc 2021 online only wwdc21 newsroom article tile 033021 big jpg large 2x

Apple's annual developer extravaganza is going fully virtual once more. Now officially set for June 7 through June 11, the company has confirmed in a press release that this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) will be a free-to-attend online event for all developers.

Apple notes that last year's online conference saw "record-breaking participation" and promises that WWDC21 should deliver more of the same, with "unique insight into the future of iOS, iPadOS, MacOS, WatchOS, and tvOS."

Read more
Your MacBook is about to run cross-platform iPad apps much better
MacOs Big Sur

Ever since launching Mac Catalyst with MacOS Mojave in 2018, Apple’s project to port mobile apps to the Mac has been something of a mixed bag. With the latest update to the Mac operating system, though, things might start looking up.

That's because the MacOS Big Sur 11.3 beta introduces a few much-needed changes to the way iPhone and iPad apps look and feel on the Mac. For instance, iPad apps will take up more screen space rather than a miniature box, as was often previously the case. Many iPad apps running on the Mac cannot be resized, which makes this size problem more pronounced. Hopefully, this latest beta will make that less of an issue.

Read more
Apple spring 2020 announcements: iPhone 9, MacBook Pro, and more
Tim Cook WWDC 2019

Everyone loves a good, glitzy event, and none more so than Apple. But with the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, sweeping the globe, Apple's planned spring event has fallen by the wayside. That doesn't mean the products won't keep coming, however -- we've already seen the iPad Pro and MacBook Air get updates, and there's plenty more where that came from.

If the rumor mill is to be believed, we could soon see all-new devices like an updated iPhone SE and Tile-like trackers called AirTags -- and there’s even talk of Apple launching a redesigned 14.1-inch MacBook Pro with a new keyboard. Some of these devices are expected to arrive later than others, but a whole heap of them are said to be just around the corner.
Where and when will it happen?

Read more